Hoffleit, Dorrit

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Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit was born in Florence, Alabama, on March 12, 1907. She received a B.A. in mathematics (1928) and a Ph.D. in astronomy (1938) from Radcliffe College; and a D.Sc. from Smith College (1984) and from Central Connecticut State University (1998). Hoffleit was a research assistant at the Harvard College Observatory in 1929 and was hired as an astronomer at Harvard in 1948. In 1943, she joined the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground to compute missile trajectories. Hoffleit left Harvard in 1956 to run Yale University's star cataloging program. She authored the Bright Star Catalogue, containing information on the 9,110 brightest stars, and co-authored the General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes, containing precise distance measurements to 8,112 stars. She retired from Yale in 1975. Hoffleit was also director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory, Nantucket, from 1957 to 1978. In 1988, minor planet 3416 was named "Dorrit"in her honor. Hoffleit died at her New Haven, Connecticut, apartment on April 9, 2007.

From the guide to the E. Dorrit Hoffleit papers, 1847-2006, 1945-2000, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit was born in Florence, Alabama, on March 12, 1907. She received a B.A. in mathematics (1928) and a Ph.D. in astronomy (1938) from Radcliffe College; and a D.Sc. from Smith College (1984) and from Central Connecticut State University (1998). Hoffleit was a research assistant at the Harvard College Observatory in 1929 and was hired as an astronomer at Harvard in 1948. In 1943, she jointed the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground to compute missile trajectories. Hoffleit left Harvard in 1956 to run Yale University's star cataloging program. She authored the Bright Star Catalogue, containing information on the 9,110 brightest stars, and co-authored the General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes, containing precise distance measurements to 8,112 stars. She retired from Yale in 1975. Hoffleit was also director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory, Nantucket, from 1957 to 1978. In 1988, minor planet 3416 was named "Dorrit" in her honor. Hoffleit died at her New Haven, Connecticut, apartment on April 9, 2007.

From the description of E. Dorrit Hoffleit papers, 1847-2006 (inclusive), 1945-2000 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702193415

Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit was born on March 12, 1907, on her parents' farm in Florence, Alabama. Hoffleit received her B.A. in mathematics from Radcliffe College in 1928 and took graduate classes at Radcliffe while working at the Harvard College Observatory, receiving her M.A. and Ph. D. in astronomy in 1932 and 1938, respectively. In 1943, she joined the Ballistic Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, returning to full-time work at Harvard in 1948. She remained at Harvard until 1956, when she was named director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket, Mass. This was a half-year appointment which continued until 1978. For the remaining six months of each year she worked as a research associate in astronomy at Yale University, running the star cataloging program. In 1964, she edited the Catalogue of Bright Stars, which listed stars visible to the naked eye; she also edited a 1983 supplement. Hoffleit officially retired from Yale in 1975, but even after retirement, she remained active in the field of astronomy, writing papers, frequently on women astronomers, and presenting at conferences. She was considered an expert on variable stars, the history of astronomy, and astrometry. In 1987, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid after her, in acknowledgment of her contributions to the field of astronomy.

From the description of Papers, 1906-2005 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122557963

Born 1907.

From the description of Oral history interview with Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit, 1979 August 4. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84185907

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers, 1890-1997 Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Center for History of Physics (American Institute of Physics). History of Modern Astrophysics Archives, 1976-1979. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Hoffleit, Dorrit. Papers, 1906-2005 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Hoffleit, Dorrit. E. Dorrit Hoffleit papers, 1847-2006 (inclusive), 1945-2000 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf E. Dorrit Hoffleit papers, 1847-2006, 1945-2000 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn History of Modern Astrophysics Collection, 1849-1979 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Hoffleit, Dorrit. Oral history interview with Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit, 1979 August 4. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Bok, Bart Jan, 1906-. The structure of the Milky Way system : seminar notes, 1952. Harvard University, Archives
creatorOf American Astronomical Society. Meeting. (1974: Rochester, N.Y.). Invited papers regarding the 75th anniversary of the American Astronomical Society [sound recording] / 1974 August 22. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Thomas, Helen Meriwether Lewis. Papers, 1890-1997 (inclusive). Radcliffe College, Archives
referencedIn Oral histories documenting Yale University women, 2007-2009 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith American Astronomical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Astronomical Society. Meeting. (1974: Rochester, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Bok, Bart Jan, 1906- person
associatedWith Cannon, Annie Jump, 1863-1941. person
associatedWith Center for History of Physics (American Institute of Physics). corporateBody
associatedWith Chandrasekhar, S. (Subrahmanyan), 1910- person
associatedWith DeVorkin, David H., 1944- person
associatedWith Doleman, Geoffrey. person
associatedWith Doleman, Margaret Hoffleit. person
associatedWith Fleming, Williamina Paton Stevens, 1857-1911. person
associatedWith Ford, C. B. (Clinton B.) person
associatedWith Gaposchkin, Cecilia Helena Payne, 1900- person
associatedWith Goldberg, Leo. person
associatedWith Harvard College Observatory. corporateBody
associatedWith Harwood, Margaret. person
associatedWith Helen Meriwether Lewis Thomas person
associatedWith Hertzsprung, Ejnar, 1873-1967. person
associatedWith Hoffleit, Herbert. person
associatedWith Hoffleit, Kate. person
associatedWith Hoffleit, Norfleet Daniel. person
associatedWith Hubble, Edwin Powell, 1889-1953. person
associatedWith Luyten, Willem Jacob, 1899-1994. person
associatedWith Maria Mitchell Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Massachusetts Institute of Technology. corporateBody
associatedWith Mattei, Janet A. (Janet Akyüz) person
associatedWith Maury, Antonia Coetana de Paiva Pereira, 1866- person
associatedWith Menzel, Donald H. (Donald Howard), 1901-1976. person
associatedWith Mitchell, Maria, 1818-1889. person
associatedWith Mount Wilson Solar Observatory. corporateBody
associatedWith Phi Beta Kappa. corporateBody
associatedWith Pickering, Edward C. (Edward Charles), 1846-1919. person
associatedWith Radcliffe College. corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe College. Dept. of Mathematics. corporateBody
associatedWith Russell, Henry Norris, 1877-1957. person
associatedWith Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972. person
associatedWith Stetson, Harlan True, 1885-1964. person
associatedWith Struve, Otto, 1897-1963. person
associatedWith Swope, Henrietta Hill, 1902-1982. person
associatedWith Thomas, Helen Meriwether Lewis. person
associatedWith Tombaugh, Clyde William, 1906-1997. person
associatedWith Trimble, Virginia. person
associatedWith U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory. corporateBody
associatedWith Vassar College. corporateBody
associatedWith Welther, Barbara L. person
associatedWith Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004. person
associatedWith Yale University. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Dept. of Manuscripts and Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Observatory. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Aberdeen Proving Ground (Md.)
Nantucket (Mass.)
United States
Subject
Astrometry
Variable stars
Astronomy
Stars
Astronomical instruments
Astronomers
Aging
Astrophysics
Mothers and daughters
V-2 rocket
Variable stars--Catalogs
Women astronomers
Older women
Astrophysics--History
Astronomical observatories--Administration
Emigration and immigration
Scientists
Immigrants' writings, German
World War, 1939-1945--Science
World War, 1939-1945--Women
Women in science
Ballistics
Occupation
Astronomers
Scientists
Function

Person

Birth 1907-03-12

Death 2007-04-09

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